IN THIS ARTICLE
A common saying among surgeons who have treated people with frostbite is "frostbite in January, amputate in July." It often takes months before the final separation between healthy and dead tissue may be determined. If surgery is performed too early, the risks of removing tissue that may eventually recover or leaving behind tissue that may eventually die are great. Some radiographic techniques currently are being investigated that may be able to make this division much sooner, thus permitting earlier definitive treatment.
Beyond this waiting period, 65% of people will suffer long-term symptoms because of their frostbite. Common symptoms include pain or abnormal sensations in the extremity, heat or cold sensitivity, excessive sweating, and arthritis.
Author and Editor
Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Editor: Mary Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/30/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Frostbite
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Frostbite:
Frostbite - Outlook
What was the outlook (prognosis) for your case of frostbite?
Frostbite - Causes
What were the causes of your case of frostbite, and what areas were affected?
Frostbite - Symptoms and Signs
What were your frostbite symptoms and signs?
Frostbite - Experience
What was your experience with frostbite?
Frostbite - Home Remedies
What home remedies have been effective for your frostbite?